Being raised on a Vermont farm fostered a desire in David Gilman to pursue a career that would allow him to help farmers. At Utah State University he earned a bachelor of science degree with coursework in soils and meteorology. After his graduation he mapped soils for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (currently the Natural Resources Conservation Service) in Woodstock, Vermont, before becoming a soil scientist on the Targhee National Forest (Idaho) (currently the Caribou-Targhee National Forest) in 1974. The following year he became the zone soil scientist for the Challis (currently the Salmon-Challis National Forest) and the Sawtooth National Forest. When every national forest was subsequently assigned its own soil scientist, Gilman remained in that position on the Sawtooth until his retirement in 1994.
In this August 2003 interview, Gilman explains how cattle grazing in the American West has led to soil erosion and soil compaction, which together have reduced soil productivity. This video is an excerpt from Gilman's interview in Mike Hudak's book WESTERN TURF WARS: THE POLITICS OF PUBLIC LANDS RANCHING (http://westernturfwars.com).